Kate Ferdinand: ‘As A Stepmum I Already Have A Motherly Role, But A Newborn Baby Is Daunting’

The former Towie star is preparing for a new chapter.

Kate Ferdinand

by Jessica Barrett |
Published on

Kate Ferdinand revealed she was expecting her first child with husband, footballer Rio Ferdinand, in June this year. Her family life has been the subject of BBC documentary, Becoming A Stepfamily, which aired in February this year. The moving film told the story of how Kate, now 29, met Rio and became stepmother to Rio's three children Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and Tia, nine, following the death of their mother Rebecca in 2015. Here Kate speaks to Grazia about her first pregnancy, home-schooling and why she's proud to have created a maternity sportswear range with Dare 2b.

Tell us a bit about the collection...

When I first found out I was pregnant, I just really struggled to find comfortable gym clothes. There's not a lot of it out there. So I'm really proud and happy to be able to offer that with this collection [Kate's second for Dare 2b]. I think since I've been pregnant, it's really all just about comfort. So soft fabrics, I've been getting very hot so everything's quite light. I feel like it's about about creating a range that works for everyone. So it's still got the pieces for people that are all different shapes and sizes.

Kate Ferdinand

What has exercise come to mean to you this year?

I've always exercised for a really long time. And for me it is for physical benefits, but mainly for my mental health, especially during my pregnancy. I've been training two to three times a week, and you don't see any physical changes but it's just having a release. Just to think about nothing but what you're doing and moving your body is just really important to me. Obviously, since I've been pregnant. I haven't been lifting heavy weights or anything like that. I've been doing Pilates and sort of different types of exercise. I love walking and it's something that prior to being pregnant was just part of my everyday life, the dogs every single day. But my back's been just causing me issues, and I can't really walk for longer than 10 minutes and it's something I've been struggling with.

How has this year affected your relationship with your body and your self esteem?

I've always had days where I feel self conscious, and I don't feel great. Being pregnant, especially, your whole body changes - everything that you know just goes out the window. And at the beginning, that was something I struggled with: my changing body and having spots and things like that. I'm finally getting used to my bump. I think it's taken quite a while. I think lockdown has had an effect on my self esteem too: you're not wearing makeup as much, you're not doing as much, you're not making as much effort.

Going through your first pregnancy in 2020 must have been an experience?

In a way I don't really know any different because I haven't been pregnant before. But it is quite difficult in the sense that it's been lockdown and the kids have been off. At that stage the kids didn't know that I was pregnant. So I was feeling really sick in the first trimester and not eating my food, and trying to be a teacher and a cleaner and all these things. It wasn't going to work. I love them, but it's a lot better now they're back at school!

Being a stepmum already, how have you been feeling about being a mother to your own child?

I was a bit nervous at the beginning, and it does pop into my head every now and then. I mean, I'm a stepmum and I feel like I have a motherly role already. I've already got three kids and I've sussed that out - but I've never had a newborn baby, so it's quite daunting. I've never changed a nappy, so I don't know about anything like that so I was quite worried. I have been thinking, 'Will I be able to cope?' I'm calming down with that little bit. I'm feeling a little bit better, and what will be will be. I will manage it, and I'm trying to tell myself just not to panic or worry.

Did the news about restrictions about having partners with you during labour, due to Covid, worry you?

Yes definitely. I think they've relaxed that now and I'm lucky and I will be able to have Rio there with me. I'm really happy about that to be honest because I would be quite nervous doing it without him.

Do you think there is undue pressure on new mums to look a certain way as soon as they give birth?

I think there's so much pressure to 'bounce back'. Well, I'm trying not to let it faze me. I don't know how I'm going to feel: I might want to just take a break from exercising or I might feel like getting in the gym. I don't know but I'm not going to put that pressure on myself.

Finally, how do you think 2020 has changed you as a family? Has it brought you closer together?

Honestly, I probably should be saying yes. But we were quite close as a family anyway. I think we realised that too much time together isn't always a good thing! I think sometimes in lockdown when you're with each other constantly, it's not really quality time. Now for us it's just about making that special time, where you're actually all present and doing something together.

Find Kate's collection at www.dare2b.com

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